The Vault is a relatively simple product, in that it only requires a couple of components to be added in order for it to run. The user only needs to add RAM (memory) and mSATA (storage) to the Vault in order to have a fully functional hardware system.
However, there is a wide variety of different hardware available for the Vault in the form of RAM and mSATA and not all of it is necessarily compatible from the hardware perspective.
FW1, FW2, FW4
The FW1, FW2, and FW4 platforms are based on the same basic design and accommodate SO-DIMM DDR3L memory modules.
There is a single physical socket for RAM. It is a 204 pin SO-DIMM for DDR3L memory. There is a notch in the memory module that matches the socket so that only the proper type of memory can be physically inserted into the socket.
SO-DIMM DDR3L comes in increments of 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. 8GB is the maximum size of a single memory module for the FW1, FW2 and FW4 series. Since there is only one socket, 8GB is also the maximum size for the system.
The FW1, FW2 and FW4 series support the low voltage 1.35V DDR3L specification. The standard DDR3 modules at 1.5V are not compatible with the Vault. If DDR3 modules are inserted in the Vault, the probable symptom is that there will be no video.
The FW1, FW2 and FW4 series support the DDR3L-1600 specification where the module is referred to as the PC3-12800.
DDR3L memory that meets the requirements can typically be found on Amazon in the “Frequently Bought Together” section along with Protectli products. In addition, “Crucial” and “Samsung” modules have been successfully tested with the FW1, FW2 and FW4 series. Please see links below.
The FW6 is a different platform than the FW1, FW2 and FW4 series. It incorporates the SO-DIMM DDR4 memory modules.
There are two physical sockets for RAM. They are 260 pin SO-DIMM for DDR4. There is a notch in the memory module that matches the socket so that only the proper type of memory can be physically inserted into the socket. When using a single DDR4 module, the module can be inserted into either socket.
SO-DIMM DDR4 comes in increments of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. 16GB is the maximum size of a single memory module for the FW6 series. Since there are two sockets, 32GB is the maximum size for the system.
The FW6 series support the low voltage 1.2V DDR4L specification.
The FW6 series recommends the DDR4-2400 specification where the module is referred to as the PC4-19200.
DDR4 memory that meets the requirements can be found on Amazon. Crucial, Samsung, and G.Skill Ripjaws modules have been successfully tested with the FW6 series. Please see links below.
FW1, FW2, FW4
The FW1, FW2, and FW4 platforms are based on the same basic design and use an mSATA Solid State Drive (SSD). mSATA devices up to 1 TB have been successfully deployed in the FW1, FW2, and FW4 series.
The FW6 uses an mSATA Solid State Drive (SSD). mSATA devices up to 1 TB have been successfully deployed in the FW6 series, but larger sizes should perform well as they become available.
In addition to the mSATA storage, there is a SATA interface and mounting plate for a single optional standard 2.5″ SSD.
FW1, FW2, FW4, FW6
The FW1, FW2, FW4 and FW6 platforms all support an optional WiFi module. The WiFi module is a half height mini PCIe form factor card that supports WiFi 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz. The data path is over the internal USB channel. The WiFi kit includes the module, dual antennas, and the cables necessary to connect the antennas to the internal module. With the exception of the FW2B, only the Protectli WiFi module has been tested with Protectli platforms. Please see this link. The FW2B can use standard PCIe WiFi modules. However, be sure to verify driver support for the specific WiFi module with the specific OS such as FreeBSD, pfSense® CE, or Windows, etc.
AES-NI is the Intel Advanced Encryption Standard – New Instructions specification. It is hardware support by certain Intel processors for AES that accelerates the execution of the AES algorithm. It is becoming a mandatory requirement for support by some applications, notably pfSense® CE.
The FW1 and FW2 platforms do not support AES-NI because there is no support in the Intel Bay Trail-D J1800/J1900 processors.
FW2B, FW4A, FW4B
The FW2B, FW4A and FW4B platforms support AES-NI because it is supported by the Intel Celeron J3060, Atom E3845, and Celeron J3160 processors, respectively.
The FW6 platform does support AES-NI because it is supported by the Intel Kaby Lake processors.
A comparison of the products can be found at this link.